One of the leading causes of death and non-fatal injuries is swimming pool accidents. Drowning is the second leading cause of death among Canadian children. Almost half of all drowning and near drowning incidents for children below the age of fourteen occur in swimming pools.
Some of the most common causes of swimming pool injuries include improper supervision, inadequate safety procedures, fencing that is not up to standard, and failure to prohibit dangerous pool activities.
Improper supervision is a major cause of swimming pool injuries. Sometimes guardians, swim coaches, parents, or lifeguards do not pay attention to the children they are supposed to be supervising. In some cases, pool monitors are not fully aware of the swimming abilities of those under their care. Unfortunately, many young lives are lost due to this type of negligence.
Improper safety procedures include having a public swimming facility with no lifeguards on duty and no other form of supervision. Safety violations might also include having insufficient numbers of rescue floatation devices or life jackets. This could also include failure to post safety rules such as signs warning children to not run around the pool or rules concerning unsafe diving areas.
Although it has been established that fencing around pools reduces the risk of pool accidents, some fences may not meet safety codes and gates may be left open allowing full access to neighbourhood children who may not comprehend the risk of deep water pools.
Failure to stop roughhousing is when adult supervisors fail to create awareness among the children under their care concerning the dangers of certain behaviour in the pool area. When children are seen playing around the pool in a risky way, it is the responsibility of the guardian or lifeguard to caution the children about their risky behaviour and ensure they cease dangerous activities. Because children may not realize the dangers associated with what may seem to be playful activities in the pool, it is the responsibility of lifeguards or supervisors to curb any activities that may lead to injuries.
Some of the non-fatal pool injuries include Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). This is a very common injury and often occurs when someone dives into a shallow end of a pool and hits their head on the bottom of the pool. Brain injuries can also occur when someone slips on the side of a pool and hits their head on a hard surface. These events often result in some form of concussion resulting in a brain injury. In some cases the person injured may not even be aware of the damage incurred because there might be no physical signs of bleeding or trauma.
Diving into shallow water can also cause neck and spinal injuries that can leave someone paralyzed for the rest of their lives so this is something that both adults and children must be extremely cautious about.
Pool injuries and drowning can also occur as a result of the body getting trapped in a drain via entanglement of hair. Children should be warned not to swim near drains, especially if they have long hair.
Although there are many laws and swimming pool standards designed to prevent injuries and fatalities, injuries continue to occur, mainly because of carelessness and negligence. For this reason, always be vigilant when bringing your children to swimming pools, lakes, rivers or other areas or water. Don’t assume that someone else is looking out for your child, especially if they are not a strong swimmer.
If you or your child has suffered injuries as a result of a pool accident you may be entitled to compensation. At Rastin and Associates, we can assess your situation and determine the maximum amount that you should be compensated. There are no fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation. Call us today to get the justice you deserve.